The most important rule. We want to foster a welcoming and fun environment for all our players; behavior that runs counter to this, such as posting deliberately offensive material or having a pervasively poor/combative attitude is frowned upon, and will be disciplined if and as necessary. Furthermore, while our four communities are our primary jurisdiction, the moderators are responsible for our player's comfort in relation to the game on the whole, and as such we will do our best to resolve conflict between players that arise in chat and elsewhere. Do not bully players and do not harass them.
② Stay in-character
As this is a roleplay game, we ask that you keep your characters as true to their canon self as possible. After all, players who know the canon would much prefer to interact with the character they know and love! While we expect -- and encourage -- a character to grow and perhaps evolve over time in the game, we want it to be plausible with respect to their core character as well as the events they experience.
③ IC =/= OOC
This one should be pretty obvious! If a player's character is rude or aggressive towards one of yours, this does not mean the player hates you as a person! Likewise, if you find yourself in disagreement or conflict with another player, you should not use your character to take your displeasure out on theirs! While we hope everyone will be able to get along and be friends, sometimes this may not be possible; however, we can and do expect every member of our playerbase to treat one another with respect and courtesy. Don't be a jerk, and if you're having trouble with another player -- or even a mod -- please come to one of us to help you.
④ Communicate with each other and the moderators
If you have any questions or problems, your friendly neighborhood modstaff is always happy to help. The all-purpose complaints/issues post is located here, with screened comments and IP logging off. All of the current modstaff has contact information listed here if you need to talk to anyone individually. We will always do whatever we can to help as soon as possible. With five mods in total, it can be a little difficult to get everyone's input, so we thank you for your patience with regards to any delay.
We also ask that you communicate with each other. If you have an issue, a complaint, a question, if you want CR with someone, please talk to the player in the question before trying alternative methods. A little discussion does go a long way. Community discussion is always greatly encouraged as well, but if you have a question for a specific player or small group of players, please contact them individually. The Contact List contains all manner of ways to get in touch with a player, and is viewable to all members of OOC. If you have something to ask or tell a player or small group, contacting them off-comm is a good way to help us cut back on post spam and stay relevant.
Likewise, if you have an issue with or question about the game, please use the above Mod Contact post or the FAQ instead of asking the community at large and/or attempting to contact the mods via Plurk or AIM. In the case of Plurk, due to the site's often technical difficulties the mods may not always receive notification and questions and/or concerns may go unnoticed.
We would prefer to be contacted through the above mentioned venues as opposed to Plurk and/or AIM as there are times the mods need to consult with one another on a subject or question brought to light rather than being able to provide an answer on demand.
⑤ Participate in every third HMD round
In order to facilitate open communication between players, participation in HMDs is mandatory, and will be checked during the AC period! HMDs are posted bimonthly, and players only need to participate in every third HMD round. You may - and are encouraged to - participate more often than that, but if you only wish to participate in one every three rounds, you're certainly free to do so!
The reason for doing so is to facilitate an open, welcoming environment in-game in which everyone has a proper avenue in which to air any concerns or critiques they may have in a polite, considerate, and open manner. Whether players post anonymously or not, they are expected to adhere to the rules of the game and be respectful. We as moderators are not exempt from this rule either! If you do not wish to bring your grievances to our Mod Contact personally, there will be a thread available for you to provide us with critiques every single HMD!
⑥ Godmodding/Infomodding: don't do it
This means you are not allowed to control any other player's character without their explicit permission under any circumstance. This also means no orchestrating scenarios that would lock a player into a certain response or course of action without their foreknowledge and consent. If your character is going to do anything that directly affects another, contact that player! We're all pretty friendly, so just clear things with your fellow game members before you (accidentally or otherwise) limit their options. Similarly, information learned out-of-character cannot be applied in-character. Your character should not know things like how their new acquaintance dies in the Bad End of their source canon just because you do. Nor should your character instantly pick up that some new face on the network is a nefarious bad guy just because they prefer typing to video and you can see their evil twin goatee in icons. By no means should a character know and understand what is going on inside the game without a reasonable basis for that knowledge. All the fun of mystery plots would be ruined! So don't do it.
⑦ Stay active
Activity requirements are fairly relaxed -- in simplest terms, two posts or threads per character per month. If an Activity Check (AC) is failed one month it can be made up for with increased activity the next – however, failing the second chance will get your character auto-dropped, so it's better to be safe than sorry. If a player is unable to meet AC requirements for whatever circumstances, they must contact a mod no later than 24 hours prior to the monthly Activity Check going up. Not all circumstances will be exempted, however, if you are unsure please contact us. Further details on our activity policy can be found in the FAQ.
⑧ Three strikes and you're out
We work on the classic three chances system, where you get two strikes before you will be banned on the third. You will always be informed personally when you receive a strike. A good way to get a strike is to break any of these rules, and a good way not to get any is to keep a cool head and be polite to your fellow players!
Depending on the severity of the infraction, we may instead assign a smaller punishment, such as a forced hiatus for a short period of time or prohibition from participating in an event. We refer to these as "warnings." During these hiatuses, you are not allowed to post to either community and will have to backdate any interactions once you return. Again, we will always inform a player when they receive any disciplinary action. If a player accrues a number of warnings over their time in game, depending on the severity and frequency these may be categorized as a strike; should this occur, the player will be informed of such at that time.
There is almost no way to be banned without a prior history of warnings/strikes. However, there are a few special cases that earn an immediate ban: lying to the moderators (about identity or conflict with another player), harassing your fellow players, repeatedly failing to follow content restrictions or limitations, trying to get around a lesser punishment, or creating a toxic environment in the game. Once banned from the game, you will not be re-admitted in the future. All bans are permanent.
On a related note: Depending on the past actions of the player and the moderators' personal discretion, we reserve the right to give a player with a reputation one or two strikes upon entry. All that to say, everybody gets a chance here, but if you've offended too many people in the past you're on thin ice.
⑨ Don't thread with yourself
You're here to play with other people, after all! Solo logs and City-verse drabbles are allowed, but in-game interactions should be with other players. Self-threads will not count towards activity and if we catch you doing too many, you may be reprimanded.
⑩ Put posts and tags in the right places
It may sound obvious, but In Character posts are to be kept in the Main (maskormenace) and Logs (maskormenacelogs) communities, while Out of Character posts should go to the OOC (maskormenaceooc) and Spam (etcelsior) communities. If you're ever in doubt which community to use, give each one a glance over!
Also be sure to tag your posts and logs, including any that you tag into! If you do not have a character tag yet, please contact a moderator and we will make you one.
⑪ Use content warnings
If your post contains material unsuitable for children, it must be placed under a cut. This applies to any entries containing graphic depictions or descriptions of violence, sexual activity, illicit heavy drug use, suicide, and any other potentially triggering content. NO EXCEPTIONS. If you're not sure whether your post classifies, see where it would fit according to the MPAA. If it's the sort of thing that you wouldn't see on basic cable before 8pm, cut it!
Additionally, we do not allow postings of graphic depictions of sexual conduct involving characters physically or mentally below the legal age of consent in New York (17!). Or short form, no underage sex logs. Period! While we all know teenagers can have a drive for sex before they can drive a car, it's nothing that we need to read. Please keep all other sexual content in the logs community, not the main.
⑫ Don't abuse "post filters"
Posts can be filtered to no more than eight people! Additionally, there is no such thing as a "Villains" filter, or a "known baddies" list, or "America's Most Wanted" lock. If you try using any filter like that, everyone will disregard it, as they don't exist!
⑬ One post per character per day
We limit characters to one post by the same character per twenty-four hour period. This is to prevent spam (especially during plots) and to encourage players to comment to already existing posts. In specific plot-based circumstances we sometimes allow exceptions to this, but if and only if you discuss the matter with a moderator beforehand. Just think before you post!
The Logs community is the exception to this rule. You may post as many logs with as many characters as you wish during a given day -- but if the number starts getting obscene, we may request you space it out some.
⑭ Lock sharing posts
While we encourage sharing your love for the things you love (as long as it's in the Spam community!), you must lock your entries to community members. No exceptions!
⑮ Get mod approval
Certain in-game actions do require clearance and scheduling with the mod team. Porting a character out of the City for a canon update or adjusting their power set requires clearance on the Update page; any event involving major property damage, significant world-build ramifications, three or more player-characters, business establishing, and/or the death of any character (yours, someone else's, or even an NPC!) require clearance and scheduling on the Plotting post. If you have something planned for your character but you're not sure you need permission, it is always better to ask!
⑯ Read, please read
It should go without saying, but please make sure you read everything. Read the rules, read the FAQ, try to read through any of the relevant information posts before telling us you can't find something. Read through OOC info posts before asking questions to see if your question is already answered within the post. Read through posts and tags before you reply to them. So on!